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My husband was referred to this program in July 2013 at least three times. In December 2013 documentation states he was approved waiting for services. When the scandal broke about the Phoenix VA. All of a sudden I get a call from a doctor one morning wanting to come out and examine him. So I say yes because his Parkinson seems to be getting worst. The doctor states: "I do not have a diagnosis of Parkinson for him." So I agree to the visit.

Doctor arrives early and sits in her car for over 30 minutes. I've gone outside with our dog and the CNA that was working here at the time.

Finally, the doctor comes to the door. My mixed terrier is following me and barking of course because he always bark when he hears the doorbell or someone knocking.

At the door the doctor states "their policy is all animals be put away before staff can enter." So I say your policy should be you do not call the same day you are going to make the visit and you explain the policy prior. Then I take the dog and lock him in the bedroom.

My husband is sitting in the kitchen in his wheelchair where the CNA had left him before she left.

I go back to the door open the door, let the doctor in, turn and walk back to out living room. I turn around and the doctor is standing by the stairwell near the door. She says "if you are upset about putting the dog away we can reschedule." In my mind, I am thinking, why is she revisiting the dog, he is no longer an issue. Then this doctor says "she walked into some hostility" I said it is not about me (I hold my hand out to ward my husband) it is about him, The doctor again says something about animosity and rescheduling while she is still at the stairwell and has set her bag down. Again I say 'it is not about me, it is about him.

To make a long story shorter, this doctor leaves our home and states we will have to reschedule. This is March. So I sent an email to the director, chief of staff and patient advocate of the facility. No one responds, I report it to Washington, no one responds.

In June I get a call about three people coming back to evaluate my husband. A SW, RN and NP comes out to our home under the guise of evaluating my husband. Then I have another two people to come out and this time the SW and her boss the program director. On this visit I am told that the chief of the program is thinking my husband is "now" too ill for the program to provide services in our home by a doctor and a team. I will get the final decision later.

So I get this call and I am told my husband is now "too ill" for the program he was referred to almost a year ago.

So I send a letter to the Senator and ask that he look into this, because I don't think it is fair to my husband. I get a letter from the senator's office in which the director of this facility wrote in response to their inquiry.

The letter to the senator from the director is very accusatory of me, very defaming and I learn from the letter that there is a fear for the staff to be in our home and they recommend nursing home level of care for my husband. Then I learn from the same letter that when the three people came to our home, two were not to examine my husband but to monitor activities in our home while one examined my husband. Then I also hear later from a relative that my husband was denied the program because the agency cannot afford to send two people into our home at the same time. Two people because one would have to monitor and watch me because of the safety concerns for the staff.

YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK!!!!

Oh yes, they are also looking at my husband's medical file in which I too, now have a copy of. I could not understand why I was so in the file with the spouse called and she said this and the spouse called and she said that. But after reading the letter to the senator's office from the director I do get it.

Even more interesting, we are both service connected disabled veterans and I have a pinched nerve and some other issues. My doctor requested more assistances in our home to help me with my husband and the same person denied that request as well.

So again, who can help with this one?

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You made quite an impression it would seem. Is your husband too ill for the program? What do you have in writing from them? Does it say they believe there's a safety concern and won't send just one person? Or did they refuse service based on some other reason?

You've got a problem. You sent a menacing message to the first doctor. When she visited. The VA is going to err on the side of caution.

Dogs should be put away when medical people are visiting for the first time...and perhaps for the second and third. Frankly, I don't think that should take an advance phone call. Put up your dog!

Unless one or possibly more of the people who visited your home are psychotic, I don't know that you're going to be able to change their decision. You were rude, uncaring and judgemental. you had another opportunity to make a good impression when they revisited. Apparently you did not.

Speaking as someone who often met people for the first time in their home...putting me at a distinct disadvantage...I had the hairs stand up on the back of my neck a few times. It is disconcerting.

As for her spending 30 minutes in her car on the phone, mom had medical care here in my home. Doctors and nurses often returned calls before they came Into my home. I never paid the slightest attention to it.

Me thinks your attitude screwed the pooch. If you get someone to champion your husband, I hope you'll work harder at making a good first impression when someone has come to help you.
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Why can't you sued for sleep apnea if your PRIMARY CARE DOCTOR said definitely not you don't have sleep apnea
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It can be a real problem in a bureaucratic care organization if you get a negative comment in the file. A SIL of mine had a developmentally disabled son with an atypical combination of deficits that did not fit a common diagnosis. He was spacially uncoordinated and often fell or bumped into things. When they first set up the Regional Centers in California to coordinate services to disabled children, somebody noted in his file that he was "self-destructive", which was not true. This followed him for years, even when she moved to a different county, and they were very unhelpful. Finally she got him into a treatment program through the school system. (He died of flu at the age of 14, and the autopsy result showed "cerebral malformation", apparently a birth defect.) This is something that worries me about increased governmental control over health services; if something like this happens it will be harder to get an objective or alternate evaluation.
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vstefans: Doctor, I'd like your opinion as to a rather new practice of becoming an MDVIP. These physicians have opted to join a group of business professionals who charge a very large annual fee to the selected patients in their practice. They exclude all other patients, both new and old. They say it gives them more time to treat this selected group of patients, as well as providing an extensive annual examination...check-up. They also say that they are available 24 X 7 to them. One physician I know dropped his caseload from 2500 patients to just 500. I personally think it's a financial choice. What do you think? The patient still pays his own insurance premiums, his deductible and his co-pays. The patient also pays for any blood work, radiology and other tests deemed necessary by the doctor. The large annual fee is just for his services.
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To myjourney: Your case is not an isolated one, sad to say. Social Services are notorious for the type of behavior you experienced. It will always be "their" word against yours. Always set up a video recorder inside your home. This will give your proof to all parties you contact and the media will be more likely to take interest in your case. I am sorry you have had to go through all of the BS, but
thankful you have shared your story. Social Service agencies, doctors and especially, police all need to be recorded/video taped when they come in to your home. It is imperative to protect yourself. Dishonesty can end up worse than you think. Take care.
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carebill, that's my opinion, for sure...but it is not a real popular one on Sermo. Mostly people feel that if patients are rude they should be dismissed from the practice. Some docs fire patients for using their cell phones in the office. Hate to admit some of my fellow professionals are that harsh and care so little about people who are not perfect patients in their eyes, but that's reality. In reality, I had to bake a few batches of brownies or order a box of chocolates for some appointment desk staff to get some things for my mom too.
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Have you checked into home hospice? my husband hung on much longer than they thought, but the care he received was amazingly good.
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GOD BLESS YOU&YOUR HUSBAND! I DON'T TRUST DRS. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF A FEW!!!!! I know Drs. put up w/a lot&SO DO family members w/a loved one who is ill!! Sounds 2 me like an OVER REACTION on their part!! GOOD LUCK♡
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all fine and dandy, but as you say, "True professionalism means looking past hurtful and antagonistic comments and giving people what they need."
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True professionalism means looking past hurtful and antagonistic comments and giving people what they need. We certainly try to do that for kids when parents comments and criticisms are off-putting, and more often than not manage to defuse things, but I am trying to imagine what a doctor might think and feel in the scenario you describe. I have to say it might have been hard for her not to take those statements the wrong way. You were obviously angry about having to put the dog in a room, and went on the attack, criticizing the doctor and the agency for not having told you in advance. "Its not about me its about him" would have felt pretty confrontative to me too; it signals that you think the person is uncaring and you expect them to ignore your state of emotions even though they are obvious. This doctor was on your turf and knew she had gotten off on the wrong foot and may have been frightened; she evaluated the chances of a therapeutic alliance with you as nil, though they may not have been. I can tell you may not have meant to sound so harsh, and you were understandably upset to start with over the situation.

But then it goes on, and you are now also very angry that they documented your complaints, though they more or less have to. You have accused them of slander and libel, though they may have written down what you said verbatim. And now that you have written to your senator and are even going to the media to complain, it is a virtual guarantee that people who may have wanted to help you will have to be forced to help you, and are looking for any reason not to have to deal with you. They are probably afraid nothing they do for you or your husband will be viewed with appreciation, but fear criticism, negativity, anger and fault-finding, and maybe even think you might turn litiginous as well.

I wish I could just sympathize and thank you both for your service rather than tell you that you inadvertantly bit the hand that might have fed you, but as hard as it might be to hear, I think you ran them off for good and Pipruby has the best idea. I don't believe that every patient and family should have to take the Dale Carnegie course or formal assertiveness training, or have to bake cupcakes to get good service, but really, really try to hear what I'm saying and soften your approach - treat the people coming in like fallible human beings with fears and feelings too.
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I was a caregiver for an elderly veteran and also had a horrible experience with their Home-Based Primary Care program -- that sounds like what you were (almost) on. The head nurse made appointments without consulting me, was hostile on the phone, told me my relative had a broken hip when he didn't [!], didn't bother to cancel an appointment for a home visit but never showed up, then contacted Adult Protective Services because I supposedly wasn't allowing visits. Nothing came of this as I was a damned good caregiver. Of course I complained -- first to the patient advocate, who didn't even reply, and then to the director of the VA facility. Of course the director sided with the nurse, blithely ignoring virtually everything in my letter. Now the VA has, in essence, washed their hands of my relative -- they say they can't pay for visiting nurses because of various budget and other problems -- and recommended him for long-term nursing home care. As I am burnt out, I agreed, although part of me wanted to fight it.

So I understand and appreciate what you're going through with the VA. The fact that both of you are veterans with service-related injuries makes it worse. I don't think you did anything wrong -- you were dealing with a headstrong, neurotic person who probably didn't want to be there in the first place -- and the VA has serious financial issues.

Look into other options for care. But the VA still has to send medications and other supplies and so on which both of you are entitled to. Good Luck! And my sympathies!
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Go to the Medicaid department, and medicare. See if he qualifies. Let them know, by bring the letters, that the VA now states he is not qualified for services. Maybe he can get services, be appropriately evaluated, and they can approach VA if need be. Also, some States have catastrophic insurance for folks with catastrophic illnesses.
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You might try contacting your local veteran's service office. The office in my parents' hometown was very helpful in getting a service marker for my father's headstone, and also helping me understand when and how to apply for the aid and attendance benefit for my mother. In my opinion, the VA system has been a disorganized mess for many years. More than 10 years ago, my father qualified for hearing aides because of his time spent in noisy planes without ear protection during WWII. He had to travel 150 miles one-way to be tested and fitted. Although the VA provided van service on certain days of the month, my father waited several months until an appointment could be made on a day that had the van service. Then, after getting up before dawn and traveling the 150 miles, he was told that they were "backed up", and wouldn't be able to see him that day. He had to spend the rest of the day waiting around until the van was ready to return. Months later, the second trip had the same result, only this time they blamed a staff shortage. He finally was seen on the third attempt. What a waste of money and my father's time to make two wasted trips. My dad, with his typical sense of humor, said it was just like his days in the army air corp where the motto was "hurry up and wait". Personally, I think it is an insult to these men and women who served.
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Thank you all so very much! I know that the services should have been provided last year when my husband was referred. That is the entire problem. This doctor was in charge and her coworkers did not get to my husband and he set on a "wait list." Then at the end of march it is ok to just rush in and distort the truth. My husband is truly the victim here and his health is deteriorating day by day and he is entitled to the services because he spent 24 years in the Air Force and was exposed to Agent Orange, which is the reason for most of his issues.

I have tried to contact the media sent it to several different sources. But it is not something that they just jump on. I guess you would have to be a celebrity or have something else going for you. I find it all so sad.

I also sent it to a senator's office and it was almost as they believed what was told to them by the agency.

So I often ask the question: When are "We the People" going to be represented in a manner in which we obtain the results that we have earned?

Thanks to all of you. Be blessed!
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Try contacting your congressman/woman. They're pretty responsive and helpful to constituents....they're more local than a senator.
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Oh dear. I've noticed before reactions on the part of a few professionals that I thought were bizarrely over-sensitive - a librarian calling security over a lad who was nothing worse than tearful (and not even with her), a policewoman who to my astonishment I realised was quailing about my completely soft, tail-wagging collie cross, and a psychiatrist who was cool with having her car door kicked in but got unbelievably Nazi about a poor old harmless sod who was flashing everyone at London Bridge Station. It looks as though you encountered an individual of that sort who got the wrong end of the stick at the beginning, and everyone else has followed her lead since then. Very hard to get this kind of thing corrected.

So really I just wanted to sympathise; and I agree with Pam S that a well-connected advocate who can both get new balls rolling and set the record straight is probably your best bet. Good luck.
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Don't delay....seek out a private physician and pay for it. Do you not have Medicare?
Then, begin the complaint process. Your husband's health comes first ( and yours too!).
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I am sorry you and your husband are going through this on top of him being sick. Thanks to both of you for your service. You both deserve better than what the VA has done, which is nothing but add anguish to it all. Since your husband had been referred AND approved for the program all of this should have happend right after being approved. I would also talk to you local VFW and if you have already done that and you still aren't getting anywhere, take it to the media. It was wrong of them to turn everything on you and blame you for your dog being out and not telling you the policy, treating you with such disrespect, you didn't do anything wrong, you were anxious because it took them a year to contact you. If your Senators are not responding and the government is not, then go to your local legion group and media to tell your story, I bet you get a response once the interview is out. I feel awful for all the Vets that have been going through crap like this and the VA seems like there is nothing wrong. I as a taxpayer apologize to you both for the treatment you and your husband have received.
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Doctors and nurses regularly get bitten in patients homes (even loving dogs can get defensive with strangers approaching their sick masters... little dogs are more prone), so her initial request was reasonable.
Appreciate you were stressed but snapping back at her was not a good start.
Maybe this lady doctor had been abused before so may have been sensitive to it... you just don't know the abuse they have to put up with (physical and mental)
Her body language you describe makes it look like she was indeed scared of you.
In retrospect, 'sorry, didn't mean to snap at you, but I am so worried about my husband' would have defused the situation.

But this seems to have got completely out of control.

You need to take onboard that they have to investigate any complaints, (even if they are from rather highly strung docs)
Shame they weren't so quick to follow up your comaint about this doctor!)

Sadly, the American habit of suing medical and social services at every occassion is to blame for this.
(And the media, who love to bash doctors and soc services)

I don't have the answers, but maybe get help from a less emotionally involved relative, who can act as a mediator between you and these people.
Don't listen to 2nd hand rumours, get the facts as to exactly why they feel your husband does not meet the program criteria.

I know it is incredibly hard, but you need to remove the emotion from conversations with these people. Having someone act as mediator for you may be of help when you appeal/follow up.

It may just be that your husband does not meet criteria. (Which may still have been the case 6 mths/1 year ago)

I wish you all the best with this. You sound exhausted from it, you need friends/family to help you with this.
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Your nearest VFW or Legion Post would be your best advocate. They have strength in numbers and connections in DC. Call them.
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